Black Hills Woman Magazine | It's a Man's World. Or is it?

It's a Man's World. Or is it?
by Helen Usera, Ed.D.

According to Catalyst.org, “non-traditional or male-dominated industry or occupation contain 25% or fewer women in total employment.” Women, especially in the male-dominated industry, need to have goals, mentors, and tenacity to be successful. We’ve talked to four women, all in completely different fields that are typically male dominated to get a glimpse of their world.

Emily Zebracki - Law Enforcement
Emily Zebracki
Law Enforcement

Officer Emily Zebracki joined law enforcement in July of 2015 because she wanted to do something that would get her out from behind the paralegal desk. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University in Detroit. Her career in law enforcement gives her satisfaction that she is genuinely helping people and making a difference. As a female police officer, Zebracki typically gets a response of surprise: “Oh, it’s a female officer.” A homeless man who spoke about Zebracki said that she is an “awesome lady.” He said he has interacted with Zebracki several times and she always treats him with respect. She is comfortable in her uniform and with her colleagues and proud to be a part of Rapid City Police Department (RCPD). There are currently nine women in the academy and another six women working for RCPD. Nationally, women make up 12.4% of law enforcement.

When asked what advice she has for other women, Emily says, “ Do things that put you on the career path you want and go to college.”

Jennifer Trucano - Executive
Jennifer Trucano
Executive

In another field all together, consider that while women compose 73% of medical and health occupations, only 4% of healthcare CEOs are women (Forbes.com). Jennifer Trucano, JD, is one of the 4%. As the Chief Executive Officer for Rapid City Medical Center since August 1, 2015, the area’s only physician-owned multispecialty clinic, she wanted to be part of a health care system that provides excellent care and with employees who put patients first. With 19 years prior experience in health law, Trucano knows with recent changes in health care, relationships between patients and physicians are even more important. In her one year as CEO, RCMC has expanded services in Spearfish as well as increased access to online apps and a revised website. Besides her husband, she has friends who are also mentors. “They know my deficits as well as my strengths and encourage me to take an active role [in the community].” More important to her is that she is a model for her daughter and step-daughter to have the courage to put their hats in the ring and be willing to fail, because failure does not have to be paralyzing. “You are not really living until you are on the edge of your comfort zone. Be a life-long learner,” she advises.

Krista Morrison - Automotive Industry
Krista Morrison
Automotive Industry

Krista Morrison, Internet Sales Manager/Director of Marketing for Rapid Chevrolet and Toyota of the Black Hills, has a seven-year career with the dealerships, at which 16% of the employees are female. Women hold 26.7% of jobs in the motor vehicles and motor vehicles equipment manufacturing industry Nationwide (catalyst.org). Her previous automotive marketing experience provides her with a perspective about why women do not apply for positions in the auto industry. She believes that women think they have to be product experts before they can sell cars. Morrison’s advice to women applying for jobs is to be direct about the desired salary. Morrison is fortunate because she has found a mentor in her employer, Jerry Jasinski. He has placed the trust and respect into her to create an online marketing team that has grown through her leadership and vision.

Maggie Job - Architecture
Maggie Job
Architecture

Mentorship is important to women in careers. Maggie Job, Project Development Coordinator for ARC International, Inc., says that she has had many bosses who have mentored her and given her opportunities. She walks into most meetings as the only woman at the table and has had some meetings during which she was not acknowledged. Nationally, approximately 25% of the employees in architecture are women. That does not prevent her from completing large projects like Edith Sanford Cancer Center and Black Hills Corporation. Her 36 years of experience in interior architecture provided opportunities to see how women have progressed in the industry. She got her first job with an architectural firm because the boss liked her looks and her ability to make coffee and deliver blueprints. She has survived breast cancer and raised two children as a widow, but she has her career because of mentors and her technical abilities.

As women continue to enter male-dominated industries, expectations and cultures will change. Trucano says the truth is that “balance is gender neutral. Everyone has to learn how to balance work and family.” BHW


Helen Usera, Ed. D. of Aspiring Business Consulting helps businesses improve and grow through group training and individualized coaching. Dr. Usera focuses on her speaking and training on Organizational and Leadership Development.

Resources:

  • www.forbes.com
  • www.catalyst.org/knowledge/statistical-overview-women-workforce
  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • www.blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org

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